Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Bad Apple Spoils the Barrel

Malcolm and I came to Paonia towards the beginning of the month and helped my dad pick the apples from his tree in the backyard. Since then, I feel like I either cook, bake, can, eat or at least talk about apples once day - no joke! And since apples seem to be such a theme in my life currently, I have been trying to think of a biblical principle to incorporate with all these apples. This morning, as I was about to do some random post to share my recipes I've used recently, God hit me in-between the eyes with the truth of apples and my spiritual life.

Have you heard the phrase, "One bad apple spoils the barrel"? Honestly, I didn't think it was fully true. But I decided to do some research to find out if it was true (I tried to use all my bad apples right away so they wouldn't go to waste, so I didn't find this out in real life)Apparently, apples release something to make ripening happen, and if you have one is over ripe it can make all the other apples surrounding it start to break down. And if one is moldy, those mold spores can easily transfer to other apples surrounding it, especially if the other apples have cuts, bruises or holes (I typed in the phrase "one apple spoils the barrel" into Goggle to find my answers from multiple sites). 

Most people use this phrase to speak of people in our lives that can "poison" us and make us rotten. I'm not defecting this truth, since the Bible backs this point up (check out 1 Corinthians 15:33). But this is what hit me this morning as I was reflecting - I can corrupt all the other good things that God blesses me with in my life. One bad attitude, one "little" sin, one act of selfishness and permeate into all the other areas of life.

To be honest, this has been my major issue this past month. I let myself have the worst attitude about support raising. Instead of taking it to God humbly to let Him truly change me, I took it to Him on a surface basis and still let the real issue start to rot me. I started to believe lies that people didn't care or want to give, that I wasn't worth the time to listen to and that maybe what we're wanting to do isn't worth it, and, worst of all, that God really didn't care about we were doing to take care of our needs. This one bad attitude started infecting everything else around me. I started focusing on things that don't matter, letting every little get to me and irritate me, which put in conflict left and right.

Once I realized what was happening, I kept trying things to get me out of my situation. Nothing was really working. Then along comes Sunday morning. I was praying instead of worship God through song, asking Him, "God, what do I do? I'm so screwed up right now, and I don't know how to fix it." He hit me with this truth, "Leah, you need mercy and grace."

What? That's not what I expecting to hear! I was expecting a 12-step process to get me clean with God, not this one thing that I can't really do much with except accept it. But then I was thinking about - I've been beating myself up and letting lies sink into my being to the point where I couldn't get myself out. What I really needed was a "do over", to put this past month away and just have a new start. That's why Jesus came in the first place - to make us a new creation so we can live an abundant life in Christ.

Jesus gave us the gift we didn't deserve so we don't have to live the life we deserve to live. Without God's grace and God's mercy we're doomed! But this shouldn't be something we accepted one day just to make sure we're going to heaven, but grace and mercy is something we should cling to every day we're alive.

Romans 5:20-21 says, "The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

I don't say this to say I have an excuse to sin, because I don't. Romans 6:1-2 says, "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" But what I am saying is that God is still making me into the woman He wants me to be, which means I need to die to myself and remember that it is by His grace alone I am saved, and that His mercy is new every morning - I need Him more and more every day.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


 If you need ideas of how to use up a bunch of apples, or just some good recipes to try out, I've found some yummy ones!

Apple Crisp
Pumpkin Apple Muffins - these are streusel muffins, but I made them in my cupcake maker, so I didn't do the streusel part. I also suggest baking them in the oven instead of a cupcake maker since they're so thick.
Crock Pot Applesauce - I used the recipe linked, but I also learned a recipe from my stepmom's mom which is delicious and the most beautiful applesauce I have ever seen!! Put 1/2 water in bottom of crock pot, fill with apples, pour 2 Tbps lemon juice over apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then cook on high for 3-5 hours (just depends). Not terribly sweet, and yet not incredibly tart either. Seriously, it's golden and beautiful - will bring a smile to your face!
Applesauce Bread - which I made with my homemade applesauce.
Apple Cobbler Cupcakes - I used a caramel frosting instead of the pumpkin pie, since I didn't want to make pumpkin pie. "Bomber" cupcakes - as my sister would say!
Caramel Apple Jam - it tastes like apple pie filling! SUPER good!

French Bread - Last month I had posted about making apple butter and pear jam, and I made french bread so we could enjoy these new creations with some hot bread. I didn't do a couple of the instructions, like the cutting of the bread or the water in the oven (for some reason didn't read those parts until it was too late), and it still turned out good.
Pear Cupcakes - I used the same caramel frosting as on the apple cobbler cupcakes. I did attempt the frosting the cupcake lady had made, but it was a complete failure. So I found the other one and it's super delicious.
Pumpkin Mudslide Cupcakes - I used apple juice (which I made myself with a steamer) instead of the alcohol. I also needed chocolate syrup to drizzle on top of the frosted cupcakes, which I didn't have on hand, so I made it 10 minutes before I needed to leave with them. I may never buy chocolate syrup again! So good and SO easy to make!
Stuffed French Toast - I used real eggs and real heavy cream, not the substitutes. I had ricotta cheese I needed to use up, so I made this (which is super good with apple butter on them) and  homemade chicken alfredo with angel hair pasta. Needless to say, we were very cheesy that day!

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow, you've been busy baking! I just love that example of how one bad apple really can ruin the bunch. What a good example for us as believers too, not to let our bad attitudes rub off on others and ruin them too.